My Turn, Your Turn: Driving for Change Marrow-thon

By Gary McNair - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Every day an estimated 6,000 Americans wait by the phone, hoping they will hear the life saving news that a bone marrow donor has been found.

These are people suffering from leukemia, lymphoma and other diseases.  For many, a transplant may be their only hope for a cure.

That's why WECT is a proud sponsor of the Driving for Change Marrow-thon. It starts this Saturday, Feb. 7 at Independence Mall and continues at various locations throughout the week. The event will wrap up at UNCW on Friday, Feb. 13.

The hope is to get you to register as a potential bone marrow donor.  It's as simple as having the inside your mouth swabbed.

This is especially important for African Americans, because a successful bone marrow transplant requires matching tissue - which means a donor and a recipient will likely need be of the same race.  There's a big shortage of African Americans in the donor registry.

So I hope you will come out and support this different type of "marrow-thon."

That's my turn.  Now it's your turn.  To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at


Sat, Feb. 7-  Independence Mall 10:00 a.m.- 9:00 p.m. 3500 Oleander Drive  

Mon. Feb. 9- 11:00a.m.- 6:00 p.m.,  New Hanover Regional Medical Center, 2131 South 17th Street  

Tue. Feb 10-  11:00a.m.- 6:00 p.m.,   Martin Luther King Center, 401 South 8th Street  

Wed. Feb 11-  11:00a.m.- 6:00 p.m.,  Cape Fear Community College, Downtown Campus, 411 North Front Street  

Thur. Feb 12- 11:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.,  Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, 3701 Princess Place Drive  

Fri. Feb. 13-  11:00a.m.- 3:00 p.m., UNCW (University of North Carolina -Wilmington), 601 South College Road, Fisher University Union

Response from viewers:

Finally, some desperately needed attention to the need for bone marrow donors.  I had a BMT in 1995 that saved my life when I was 29 years old.  It is now 14 years later and these past 14 years have been the best of my life.  My dad was on the donor list for many years before I found out I would need one.  He was not my donor,  but he never understood why more people we not on the donor list.   Some people might remember the major league baseball player Rod Carrew had a young daughter that died while waiting for a matched donor.   Unfortunately it is harder to match bone marrow than it is to match organs such as kineys and livers, yet it is far easier to donate marrow than it is an organ.  Surprisingly, finding a match within a family does not offer much better odds.   Donors save a life without loosing their own.    Getting put on the donor list is absolutely painless and if you are actually matched to someone, donating is a relatively simple surgery and you can go home a couple hours after donating.  My donor said that she  did not feel any pain during the procedure and  could have gone back to work the next day. (and the staff treated her like a queen)   Hopefully, with WECT's support, people will get good  information and realize how easily they could save a life.